Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Controlled Drinking Zone approved...

November 12 2009
...but it‘s not targetting homeless people, says Lambeth Council A festive pint too many could land street drinkers with a fine this Christmas as a London council approves a borough-wide controlled drinking zone (CDZ) to curb anti-social behaviour. Lambeth Council's CDZ will come into force on December 1st 2009. The ban does not make drinking alcohol in public illegal, and the Council claimed it would be used exclusively to combat 'antisocial behaviour' by giving police additional powers to confiscate alcohol or stop people drinking on the borough's streets. The move comes on top of the already-established dispersal zone in Lambeth, around Waterloo station. A spokesperson for the Council said this measure was aimed not at rough sleepers having a quiet couple of drinks, but at rowdy drunks defecating, urinating, shouting and having sex on the streets. "We are not talking about people having a laugh after a couple of pints," the spokesperson said. "We have people congregating outside stations or begging aggressively. It is not to target homeless people." Police will monitor how frequently the powers are being used and in which locations of the borough. Any police officer who reasonably believes a person is behaving in an alcohol-related anti-social way, can issue a £50 fixed penalty or a fine of up to £500 if a person does not comply with an officer's request to surrender alcohol. A recent three-month public consultation revealed widespread support for the CDZ, with 77 per cent of residents responding in favour, as well as 74 per cent of licensed premises. Cllr Mark Bennett, Lambeth Council cabinet member for community safety, said: "People should be able to walk along the street without the fear of being intimidated by rowdy and aggressive street drinkers. These powers are designed to help the police, council, and partner agencies get to the heart of the problem and tackle anti-social behaviour head-on." Lambeth Council said it will offer counselling or rehabilitation services to offenders.